Agent scripts are used in roughly half of all call centres. When done correctly, no customer ever guesses that their call is being subtly guided; however, getting it wrong leads to fewer sales, more complaints and increased calls – as clients aren’t dealt with properly at the start.
With this in mind, how can we create the best script possible for a call centre? Here is the Blue Telecoms guide to creating a structure and language that works perfectly for what you’re trying to achieve.
Why even use scripts in telesales and customer service?
Many good cases exist for not using scripts at all. There are arguments that forcing agents to stick within a script may stop them thinking for themselves, whilst there’s always the dreaded “robot voice”, which customers hate with a passion!
Thankfully, call centre scripting has come along way, becoming far more advanced in style and structure. In the modern era, good scripts will go largely unnoticed by customers and allow agents just enough room to “breath” – letting them go off track when required.
It’s probably for this very reason, that in past decade the percentage of call centres using scripting has increased steadily.
Creating a good script, that keeps your agents on track without stifling conversation is easier said than done. To help get you started, here’s some advice from our boffins at Blue Telecoms.
Match what the client wants against your solution
The first thing to do when creating any script, is to consider all the different queries and objections clients might have – before pairing them with a suitable answer. For some questions, you’ll need just one suitable answer, whilst other more challenging queries may need an answer for each use case/target group.
To make this easier, it’s best to use a whiteboard or flip chart – creating a matrix of questions and associated answers. Once you start to connect questions and answers, you’ll start to build a script that works.
At the beginning, you’re not trying to add in every minute piece of detail – this gets added later on. For the moment, we’re just focused on allocating as many conversations their own path through the script. Your script should also allow for a response to any type of query – allowing the agent to easily stay within the company message/branding.
Tips to help you with script mapping
Define exactly what the objective of the script is before anything else:
– Who will the advisor be talking to?
– What is likely to be their thought pattern when making or receiving a call?
– What is the key outcome required? (i.e. to generate fundraising, to raise awareness, to develop future selling opportunities?)
Determine just how much data your agents will need to complete each request. With Blue Telecoms, you can control exactly what your agents see with each call.
3. Experience level
Are your agents new users who’ll need guidance? Or are they seasoned professionals who will be able to converse on their own terms. The latter will lead to a far more paired down script, as you’ll be depending on your agents to lead the call in the way they know best.
After this initial period, you’ll be ready to start thinking about the language and structure of each piece of the script.
Building The Detail Up
Now we’ve created a map of customer queries and solutions, let’s start to think about how the script will look in practice.
Make It Quick to Read
Make your script easy to follow by using fonts, colours and lists to create a flow. It’s also important to decide on a theme or branding for the script at the start – so everything is standardised.
It’s also extremely important to write each part of the script in easy to read chunks. Short paragraphs and simple sentences that can be read at a glance.
Always remember, that the script shouldn’t be a rigid cage for agents – but rather a framework they use to gently guide the call to its natural conclusion. For this reason, helpful theming and use of lists and bullet points will help your agents to gauge the important parts to mention.
Your script should always be thought of as something that flows from beginning to end. To aid in this, flowcharts are extremely useful to visualise what happens during any type of call.
By thinking of your script as a fluid entity, you’ll automatically start thinking about how to make it flow even faster. This helps keep your ACD as low as possible, whilst ensuring your customers end the call feeling satisfied.
Telemarketing companies will already be thinking about this; however, more traditional customer service centres may not be so quick to take advantage of natural areas that up-selling and cross promotion could work.
Scripts can be used in multiple ways for up-selling, from allowing agents to see past orders, to frequent updates where the business is trying to marketing new products.
Define Call-to-Action Points
In telesales, there are always natural points where your agents will want to nudge the caller towards a certain action, whether that be to pay for an item, agree to submit their details for a lead or be transferred to another agent.
Remember to define call-to-action points. Let the customer know throughout the script what they can actually respond to and therefore buy from you.
Use of language
Sometimes, it can be tricky to decide what language to use for your call structure. Here are some tips on how to make the right choice:
Write the script in spoken English first.
When writing your script, try to get in the mindset of someone speaking – rather than reading your script. Try to avoid long paragraphs that might make your agents sound robotic, whilst also removing anything that’s not important.
Sometimes, it will take a number of drafts before you happen upon the perfectly version. Don’t be scared to experiment with each version, attempting to shorten each sentence without loosing its meaning.
You should also avoid long greetings. Try to make them short and easy to understand – identifying who the agent works for, their name before starting the guts of the call. For outsourced centres, omitting a good morning or evening is a good idea too – as you may be speaking outside of your timezone.
The acid test on deciding if your script genuinely flows, is to role-play it with your agents. It’s also a great opportunity to discover how your script will play out in real life.
Even when you’ve settled on a final draft for your script, allowing your agents some time to learn and role-play the script will help make its adoption easier.
Now you’ve written and tested the script, it’s no time to leave it settle! Even the most perfect script in the history of scripting can improved over time – small tweaks building up to something extremely good.
Don’t worry about getting the perfect script from day one, because you can always get good feedback from your staff and with modern scripting tools you can amend flows and content very quickly.
A good customer service script will go unnoticed by customers and will help save resources in training advisors. However, it may cause a decrease in advisor empowerment and engagement, so it’s important to think of other ways to boost advisor satisfaction during and after its implementation.
To start writing a script, match each query with a solution(s) and assess the journey behind each query, so you can gain an understanding of the mindset of customers phoning in. This process will give you most of the information needed for a script.
Then, consider your script’s structure. Make sure it is easy to read, include visuals (like flowcharts) and build in FAQs.
The script should also use text written in spoken and not written language, with important instructions highlighted to reinforce that, while the script is generally just a guideline, this part must be read out loud.
Finally, improve the script over time, using advisor feedback and adding any new queries that may come about with the launch of a new product/service.